Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

1. This week I found my debit card, but lost our quarters and I still can't find my diamond ring. Hoping it'll turn up in the move. Oh and Margaret was sick yesterday. Nothing like packing with a toddler who can't keep anything down.

2. I'm having a hard time keeping up on my library returns.

3. It's all about the hat.

4. Isaac's hair is turning blond in the sun.

5. I demand that you all celebrate Knit in Public Day in June! Woohoo!.

6. Take the scenic path, it's filled with pretty trees.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having the laundry and packing done, tomorrow my plans include moving across town and Sunday, I want to take a breather!

Our move is tomorrow! Pack! Laundry! Clean!

Margaret has been sick the past couple of days, so that's kept me from packing. I think it's food poisoning from some strawberries that were in the fridge for probably too long. She was the only one who ate those and she's the only one who can't keep anything down. I'm grateful for breastfeeding. There are times when I think she might wean and then there are times like this that I'm grateful that breastmilk is so readily digested and that she's staying somewhat hydrated while her body refuses everything.

My brain has been everywhere this week, I need to get it all back into one place. I was on a panel for a podcast, which was fun and maybe I'll do more in the future! I lost and found my debit card in the baby clothes I donated. After taking the clothes to be donated, I found a lost shoe that was supposed to be with those clothes. When I took the shoe to meet its mate, the woman working saw me and said she had my debit card which had been missing for over a week. It snuck itself into the bags while I was sorting clothes and it was lucky that I went back to give them the lost shoe or it would still be missing. My wedding ring is still missing, though. It's been a couple of months; I was hoping to find it in the packing process. Maybe in the unpacking process? Oh, and I took care of a 3 year old who is sick and needs to be held all day and still managed to pack the entire house myself! I think I deserve a medal. I really do.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Zombies love the Oakland Library

Yesterday we participated in a zombie crawl to Save Oakland Libraries.

Isaac was "un-born at home."

And I ran into my friend Lisa. I met her a year ago at a knitting class and haven't seen her in person since (but I stalk her projects on Ravelry, of course). Love the Plants vs. Zombies references!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm not blogging.

I've just set up 6 posts in my queue to blog. Just the titles and links to remind me of what I wanted to say. Because I'm trying hard to not blog right now and work on packing and cleaning instead. See? Look at me not blogging! I'm so elegant at it!

But thanks for the comments and emails I've gotten in the past week or so! Sometimes I think I've got nothing new to add to the Bloggosphere and that I should take a long break, but you all remind me why I love it. I've been reading all your blogs as I nurse babies down to sleep, I promise!

Our official move date is next Saturday. Then we have to see how Internet is going to work in our new place. I really wish I could blink and everything would show up in our new place instantly. Or click my heels.

In the meantime, I'm missing out on wonderful things like the Maker Faire this weekend! Alas! But we're not going to miss the Zombie Apocalypse Saturday night. Pictures for that will be forthcoming. Oh- by the way, anyone know how to make homemade face paint? I need zombie colors like white and flesh-falling-off reds and greens and black.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still alive!

It's been rainy the past couple of days and I was not on my best mom behavior yesterday at all. I'm blaming the rain.

But here is Margaret showing off the butterfly shape she bit into her apple.

And Daddy and Isaac snuggling.

Oh! And cuteness! And check out that messy house. Oh yeah, baby!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why I UCed

So over on the Board, I'm being referenced, so I thought I could do a little response myself.

First, a little response to the "women die in childbirth!" fear. Yes, they do. They probably will forever because people die sometimes and there's not a way to 100% prevent that. I think on some levels, maternal mortality rates have improved in recent years, and in some places, it's getting worse. But historically and in developing countries, I think (my opinion, don't have statistics at the moment) many of the deaths are related to access to clean water, nutrition, and access to medical care.

And when I chose to have unassisted births, I did so with access to clean water, good nutrition, and medical care. The water that comes from our taps is drinking water. I have the money and access to grocery stores that provide me with a wide variety of good foods full of vitamins. I can buy fresh fruits and vegetables any day I want. And if in my pregnancy I showed signs of pre-eclampsia or in labor a hand presented or any other variety of emergencies necessitating medical care, I could have (and would have) sought out the appropriate care provider.

As to why people choose unassisted birth, one of the responders said they think it might because some women want control. And that's definitely one reason. Some women feel like they should be able to choose who gets to watch them labor and catch babies, who gets to stick a finger up there to determine how effaced and dilated they are (if they so choose to even want to know that number). I would hope that all women feel get to make those decisions for themselves- these birthing bodies are their birthing bodies.

But that's not the only reason. There a probably as many reasons for UC as there are UCers. Some women like privacy. Some feel that it's the safest way to have that baby. Some feel it's "just the way they do it"in their family. Some feel spiritually drawn to it. Sometimes babies come too fast. And some women don't even know they're pregnant when they give birth.

I have a sequence of posts (linked to in my right sidebar) explaining why I chose UC with Margaret. Ultimately, I felt very "led" or "drawn" to it.  I couldn't get the concept out of my head, and when I have ideas like that, I go through with them because I know they're important. And I really think that with Margaret's birth, going to 43 weeks, being in labor for 44 hours with some rough back labor, I probably saved myself from a cesarean by staying home without a midwife.

With Isaac, I did not feel so led. It was an option on the table. With the move across a couple of states at 30 weeks pregnant and our inability to get health insurance in California (hello, pre-existing condition!), and the fact that just like in Provo, we were only blocks away from a big bad hospital with a good NICU, I thought it was a good choice. I didn't feel particularly drawn to UC like I did with Margaret, and looking at Isaac's birth: 5.5 hours, only 9 days "overdue," I don't think that if I had had a midwife or been in a hospital the birth would have gone too differently.

If/when we have another baby I don't know if I'll UC again. I might. I might not. Depends on how I feel, how my body acts, how that baby grows and develops, and how the birth goes.

Unassisted birth is not everyone's choice, but I do feel it is a viable option for women who want it. I don't think it's fair to pain UC with a "BAD CHOICE" brush, nor should it be painted with the "BEST CHOICE" brush. It's a choice, and for some births, a good one.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mother's Day Proclamation for Peace

by Julia Ward Howe, 1870

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing her own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God—
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Small Hiatus

Dear Internets:

In my frenzy of "I CAN DO EVERYTHING!" last month, I piled my plate a little high. And we're moving this month and I have to pack. And I need to knit these things for deadlines. McKay's giving everything to finishing his thesis, so I'm on my own.  My brain is going to take a break from this blog until June. I'll post a picture every couple of days or so to prove we're still alive.

In the meantime, go ahead and covet our CSA box this week: asparagus, strawberries, lettuce (both romaine and red leaf), red spring onions, green garlic, fava beans, and braising mix.

And the yummiest of all:

Monday, May 02, 2011

Inquisition Monday: Preparing a Toddler

Today's Inquisition Monday question comes from McKay's cousin, Deb via Facebook, so I can't link to her, but if you want to see some gorgeous nursing pictures of her, go here.

Deb asks, do you have advice or good reference on how to prepare your toddler for a new baby? My daughter will be 21 months when the new baby arrives and I'm a little terrified.

Yes and no. I was in a similar position as you because Margaret was 27 months when Isaac was born. I scoured the web for ideas, but unfortunately most of them are for older children. For example, one preparation activity that was really endearing to read about was a suggestion of using candles to show how love is shared: Mommy's lit candle would light the toddler's candle and then light the baby's candle and you saying something like, "Mommy loves you and when the baby comes, Mommy will also love the baby, and the love for you is still bright." Beautiful. If we do that in the future, I'll probably cry (I'm like that), but Margaret was just too young to understand that.

So I don't know if I really have any good advice for a little one like yours. I now some people have done gifts from the baby: a toy or book that can help keep the child busy while you nurse or change diapers. That sounds like a good idea, but we didn't do that.

What we did do was take advantage of the small parental leave we had. McKay was an intern, so it wasn't full-blown parental leave, but it was something. Having him to play with Margaret and entertain her was great. He was able to fill her needs for those first 3 weeks so I could take care of Isaac's needs.

Margaret did get really fussy in those first few weeks after the birth, though. She needed attention because she was, in many ways, a baby herself. Nursing helped a little, if you nurse through your pregnancy. Bedsharing helped a little as well. Before Isaac was mobile, Margaret slept between us and Isaac was on the outside of me. She could get Daddy cuddles if I was nursing Isaac.

Be patient. And be gentle with yourself. You need to take care of you and heal postpartum. And feed your baby. And tend to your older baby. That's a lot. Maybe invite some friends for your toddler over to play in the days, so she's happy, but don't try to act the part of hostess and keeping the house neat and all that. Just let it be.

If you can, try to keep the toddler's schedule the same as far as bedtimes, bath times, meal times, etc. And if you don't feel too touched out, cuddle with the toddler when you can. Read books while you nurse.

But be kind to yourself. Overworking yourself is going to prolong your own healing which is bad for you and also bad for your baby and toddler.

Anyone else have any suggestions for Deb?